While online banking has made managing money easier than ever, it has also led to most people relying solely on digital assets.
Precious metals are a popular investment choice for people wishing to buy a tangible asset that retains its value over time. In particular, gold and silver generally maintain their value even when the stock market faces major financial fluctuations.
They also do well in times of inflation and political uncertainties. In times when traditional stocks oscillate greatly because of any or all of these external factors, precious metals only become more valuable.
For investors who prefer a hands-off approach, you certainly can buy stocks in gold and silver that are traded daily just like any other stock. However, many people prefer to keep a physical store of their precious metal.
While fairly illiquid, buying physical gold and silver is generally viewed as a long-term investment and it’s certainly a good option if you’re worried about inflation or the future of paper currency.
Best Places to Buy Gold and Silver Online
eBay and Craiglist are both great places to start. But unless you’re sure that you’re dealing with a reputable seller, you might want to look into other sites that specifically specialize in precious metals.
We’ve compiled a list of 20 online sellers along with reviews of each one to help you find the best place to purchase gold and silver.
MoneyMetals.com has received a number of accolades, including 2015 Bullion Dealer of the Year from Bullion Directory.
They have an A+ rating from the BBB, indicating a strong commitment to customer service. Products include gold, silver, rhodium, palladium, and platinum. You can also invest in a self-directed precious metals IRA.
Silver Gold Bull
Silver Gold Bull offers a suite of services for their customers. In addition to buying and selling through the company’s website, you can also store your hard assets in their secure facilities. Another helpful feature is an automated spot alert, so you can get up-to-the-minute data on where prices are throughout the day and buy when they hit your target price.
Plus, their sales team is full of seasoned veterans, so you can get answers to your questions from people who truly know their stuff. The company sells a wide range of gold, silver, platinum, palladium, copper, and collectibles online and over the phone.
Golden State Mint
When you purchase from the Golden State Mint you’re buying directly from the manufacturer. They’ve been in business for over 40 years, and personally inspect every bar, round, and coin before they ship out.
Don’t want anything second hand? No worries. Nothing they sell has ever been in public circulation. They can help you set up an IRA for your physical metals. Golden State Mint sells a slew of products that fully meet the IRS guidelines.
GoldCo was founded in 2006, and they are known for offering precious metals IRAs. These IRAs operate in a similar way to traditional IRAs, but instead of investing in mutual funds and stocks, you invest in gold and silver.
According to IRS regulations, you can begin taking penalty-free withdrawals from your precious metals IRA starting at age 59½. And while gold and silver are considered safe investments, the price of your investment will fluctuate.
If you’re interested in pursuing this option, you’ll start by opening an IRA. Then you’ll purchase the coins from GoldCo to fund the account.
The minimum purchase order for opening an IRA with GoldCo is $25,000. You can also expect to pay storage fees and account maintenance fees every year.
What started off as a precious metals trade show business has launched into one of the largest online bullion dealers today.
Provident Metals holds a number of professional memberships, including the American Numismatic Association, the Professional Coin Grading Service, and the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, among others.
Provident’s collections include gold, silver, copper, platinum, and palladium, with an extensive selection of each one. In addition to coins, rounds, and bullion bars, Provident also sells U.S. and foreign coins, wholesale products, and IRA bullion products.
You’ll appreciate the company’s attentive service and timely delivery. And if you order $99 or more, shipping is free; otherwise, it costs just $5.95 to ship.
With an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, Gainesville Coins has been keeping customers happy for more than 10 years. In fact, the company has also received a five-star rating from the National Inflation Association — the only bullion dealer to receive such a distinction.
On the Gainesville Coins website, you’ll find a wide selection of gold, silver, platinum, and other metals like copper, palladium, and rhodium.
The company also sells pre-1933 gold and has an extensive clearance section with time-sensitive deals. You can calculate shipping based on your zip code and items placed in your cart and only Florida residents pay sales tax on their purchases.
Scottsdale Mint (formerly Scottsdale Silver) focuses on silver and gold while also offering each in different collectible series. They sell both types of metal in coins, bullion bars, and rounds, with a particular premium set on artistic minting.
For example, some recent popular collectible sets include a Vikings series and a Godfather set featuring images from the iconic movie franchise.
To qualify for free shipping with insurance, you must make a minimum purchase of $500. This may seem steep compared to some of the other companies providing free shipping at $99 but much of the allure of Scottsdale Silver comes from the company’s creative minting process.
One of the largest online dealers in the world, APMEX is able to pass on savings to customers because of the sheer volume of business it does each day. Not only can you buy silver, gold, and other metals, you can also sell or trade from your current holdings.
The selection is huge, covering the major precious metals along with historic gold coins, “elite” coins, old banknotes, and foreign coins. It also has an extensive collectibles section with rare coins and currency from around the world.
Shipping is free on all JM Bullionorders. They only sell physical bullion that arrives directly to your door. They inspect every item of inventory to ensure only quality products are sold and accept many forms of payment (Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, PayPal Credit, bank wires, paper checks, and bitcoin).
Fully accredited at both state and federal levels, they also have a solid customer support service that can be reached either via phone or 24-hour Live Chat. Sign up for email and you’ll be mailed exclusive sales and promotions.
Kitco has a wide array of precious metal types, including gold, silver, palladium, platinum, and rhodium.
The website also provides a slew of data and news to help you with your portfolio decisions. You can even download apps for your smartphone for gold news, market alerts, and scrap value calculations.
As its name implies, GoldSilver solely sells gold bars, coins, and jewelry and silver bars and coins. They also sell products such as safes and storage containers. You can also create an account to sell back your gold bullion, gold coins, and silver bars through the website.
There’s a flat rate shipping fee of $25 for any order under $500, otherwise, shipping, handling, and insurance is free. In addition to traditional payment options, GoldSilver also accepts PayPal.
Don’t be fooled by the name. While Silver.com could be the best place to buy silver online, they also sell a variety of gold, platinum, and copper products. In addition to government mints, you can also find gold coins, gold bullion, silver coins, silver bars, and more from private domestic and foreign mints.
The order threshold for free shipping is high at $3,000 but their tiered flat rate shipping fees are reasonable. Smaller orders up to $299 cost just $4.95 for shipping and insurance. The highest tier of orders from $1,000 to $2,999 cost just $9.95.
Silver, gold, platinum, and copper comprise SDBullion.com’s core product line, with coins, bars, and rounds from around the world.
They also sell lead bullion in the form of ammo as well as vaults, survival food, and herbal medicine. SDBullion.com offers weekly specials and currently has a promotion for all orders shipped at just $7.77.
Texas Precious Metals offers several unique features, including the ability to sign up for limit orders. You can automatically place a standing order if gold or silver reaches your desired value.
All orders ship for free using UPS Next Day Air and all orders ship within three business days of payment. The website offers a curated selection of gold coins, gold bars, silver coins, and silver bars, as well as pre-1933 gold.
Golden Eagle Coin
Golden Eagle Coin is a place for investors and collectors alike. Take one look at their website, and you’ll see why — their inventory is absolutely huge.
Prices vary moment by moment because they are based on the commodities exchange, so their site is a great place to go if you are researching when to buy.
Shipping is free on orders $99 and over. Also, be sure to check out their bi-monthly blog for new items and savings.
Quoted on CNN, CNBC, and PBS, Gold Dealer offers a complimentary newsletter written by industry masterminds Ken Edwards and Richard Schwary.
They have a physical office moments away from LAX. However, if you prefer to not travel to Los Angeles, their website has everything you’d expect from a nationally recognized dealer.
Offering free, insured shipping on every order, they are able to offer such low prices because over the years they’ve cut down on operating expenses whenever and wherever they could. They have always passed their savings on to their customers.
Monarch Precious Metals
Monarch Precious Metals is a newer company that was established in 2008 to help with the huge public demand for gold bullion. They only use quality metals, so anything you buy from them will be .999+ fine.
They triple check the weight of every bar they ship. If it is ever underweight, they re-melt it. If it is ever overweight, it’s a win-win for you because they always let it pass and ship it as is.
Everything is custom hand-poured and marked in the old way, giving their metals a unique, old-fashioned look. They accept all methods of payment except Paypal, and every order is properly insured.
CMI: Gold & Silver
An A+ Accredited Business, CMI is located in Phoenix, Arizona, however, CMI will buy and sell precious metal to investors all over the United States.
Its president, Bill Haynes, considers it his responsibility to educate the public about the dangers and benefits of buying gold and silver.
On his blog, he regularly updates his audience on all of the world factors affecting the prices of metals, and so is an excellent resource when determining to buy.
With solid prices, IRAs, and a plethora of educational material to read, CMI should be a website you routinely check if you are a serious investor.
BGASC: Buy Gold and Silver Coins
With thousands of positive customer reviews, it’s not hard to realize why BGASC is an A+ BBB accredited business. They offer free shipping on orders $99 and up, and every order is insured while in transit; moreover, they always ship your order the next business day.
They are one of the largest coin and bullion dealers in the US and sell just about every type of US coin ever made, as well as a large selection of mints from other countries, such as China, Mexico, and Canada.
The Basics of Precious Metals
Before you start buying gold or silver, it’s important to understand the different forms each one can come in. Each type has its own pros and cons, so you might focus on one kind that you prefer, or create a diverse mix of different kinds of metals.
Let’s start off by talking about silver. Typically, you can buy silver either in the form of bullion or junk silver. Silver bullion refers to silver as a bar, coin, ingot, or round.
The most popular silver coins you’ll come across are as follows:
- American Silver Eagle
- Canadian Silver Maple Leaf
- British Silver Britannia
- Mexican Silver Libertad
- Austrian Silver Philharmonic
- South African Silver Krugerrand
- Australian Silver Kangaroo
- Chinese Silver Panda
Junk silver, on the other hand, is any type of old U.S. currency containing real silver. Any U.S. half-quarters, quarters, or dimes minted before 1965 are considered junk silver; and in reality, aren’t very junky at all.
In fact, you can sometimes find junk silver below the spot price so that you start off with a profit on your investment.
Silver rounds are privately minted silver pieces shaped like coins but produced by private mints. They are not government minted so they are not referred to as coins nor are they legal tender. The most popular silver round is the American Silver Buffalo. Scottsdale Mint also produces some beautiful rounds called “Omnia”.
Gold also comes in bars and coins, each one giving you a different type of entry point into precious metal investing. Buying gold coins is the easiest way to get started because you can start off just buying a few at a low price point.
The most popular gold coins to buy are as follows:
- American Gold Eagle
- Canadian Gold Maple Leaf
- British Gold Britannia
- British Gold Queen’s Beast
- Mexican Gold Libertad
- Austrian Gold Philharmonic
- South African Gold Krugerrand
- Australian Gold Kangaroo
- Chinese Gold Panda
Similar to silver rounds, the most popular is the American Gold Buffalo.
If you are stocking up as a hedge against inflation or to use as currency in a potential crisis, you’ll find that coins of any type (gold or silver) will be easier to barter with than bars.
If you do decide to buy bars, you can get them in different sizes to suit your space or budget; for example, you can purchase 1 to 10-ounce gold bars or up to 100-ounce silver bars. You can even find bars at just a fraction of an ounce if you want to start off small.
One of the biggest advantages of this tactic is that you get the lowest premium when you buy larger bars. So while they might not be as easy to get rid of when you’re ready, you’ll get a better value if you can make that large of an investment upfront.
While silver and gold are the most popular precious metals to buy, there are others to consider as well. Copper also comes in bars, rounds, and coins and is extremely affordable for the novice investor.
Many experts believe it’s a wise investment opportunity because of its rising demand in our economy paired with a shrinking supply.
While copper might seem like a fairly common commodity, platinum is the rarest of them all and is usually sold as coins minted in the U.S., Canada, or Australia. Finally, consider palladium as another easy entry point that comes in bars and coins.
Platinum and Palladium
Platinum is perhaps the most precious of all metals. It’s 15x rarer than gold and its value exceeds that of gold.
Palladium is similar to platinum in its properties and is actually 30x rarer than gold. Because these metals are so rare, not many people invest in them. However, there are a growing number of investors that are adding them to their portfolios and it’s something you may want to consider as well.